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Wisconsin roundup: Assembly to consider bill removing age requirement for hunting; more state news stories

An Assembly bill would lift age restrictions for Wisconsin hunters. Photo courtesy of Wisconsin DNR

MADISON — The Wisconsin Assembly will take up a Republican-backed bill to remove age limits for anybody who wants to hunt in the state.

Approval in the vote next Thursday would send the legislation on to the Senate. For now, you have to be 12 years old to buy a hunting license or hunt with a gun. Hunters as young as 10 can participate in an annual mentored hunt. The new bill would also eliminate the restriction that the hunter and mentor carry only one gun, bow or crossbow at a time.


Fitzgerald: Release Foxconn details ‘up to a practical point’

MILWAUKEE — Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says the final details of the state's contract with Foxconn should be released "up to a practical point."

On the TV show "Up Front with Mike Gousha" Sunday, the Republican Senate leader said the "major pieces" of the deal need to be known before it moves forward. Fitzgerald says the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and the Walker administration are doing the "heavy lifting" on the state's $3 billion incentive package for Foxconn's high tech plant in Racine County.

A member of the WEDC Board, Milwaukee Senate Democrat Tim Carpenter, says some of the released information is inaccurate — and he told Gousha he wants the contract released before the board votes on it so he can do "the right job for the taxpayers." Fitzgerald says he both parties are asking "tough questions" on the Foxconn deal, and they should continue doing that "right up until the contract is signed."


Fallen sheriff’s deputy remembered

LADYSMITH — A sheriff's deputy in northwest Wisconsin was remembered one year after he was murdered.

Ladysmith area residents gathered Sunday at a memorial service for Dan Glaze. The 33-year-old Rusk County officer found dead in his squad car last Oct. 29, 2016, after he went to investigate a suspicious vehicle south of Ladysmith. A bench was also dedicated in Glaze's honor. Forty-four-year-old Doug Nitek of Conrath is due back in court Nov. 13 for a pretrial hearing on 31 criminal charges filed after he was arrested in Glaze's death — and a three week trial was originally set for December but it's been delayed until April 30.


U.S. Senate race: Conservation group promotes Baldwin

With the election still 12 months away, Wisconsin TV viewers are already seeing special interest ads both for and against U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin.

On Monday, the League of Conservation Voters is starting a $300,000 ad campaign for the Wisconsin Democrat, praising her work on matters affecting the Great Lakes. Last week, Baldwin joined several other Democrats to urge that $300 million in federal money be restored in the 2019 budget for the ongoing Great Lakes Restoration Initiative — a series of environmental improvements that improve the water quality of the Great Lakes.

Last week, the Freedom Partners' Chamber of Commerce took out a statewide TV ad blaming Baldwin for preserving a system it said was "rigged against ordinary Americans" — and without a firm GOP nominee yet, the ad simply urged people to vote against Baldwin. Republicans Kevin Nicholson and Leah Vukmir are vying for the GOP nomination.


Thousands seek to remove Madison bishop after gay burial controversy

MADISON — About 4,400 people have signed a petition calling for the removal of Madison Catholic Bishop Robert Morlino.

It's in response to an advisory last week from Vicar General James Bartylla, who spelled out guidelines for parishes that wish to reject Catholic funerals for gays and lesbians to avoid what he called "public scandal of the faithful." Petition organizer Amelia Royko Maurer says the position is inconsistent with Pope Francis' efforts to create a more welcoming Catholic Church. But Morlino spokesman Brent King calls that petition and one other publicity stunts which no "faithful Catholics" would sign. The other petition, also on, demands that Morlino withdraw the vicar general's guidelines — and 1,400 people have signed it as of early Monday morning.


Investigation continues into 3 apparent shooting deaths

CHETEK — Sheriff's deputies in northwest Wisconsin continue to investigate the deaths of three people at a home in Chetek.

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald says all three had gunshot wounds, but the causes of death will not be confirmed until autopsies are finished. They've been identified as 55-year-old John Hengst, 55-year-old Brenda Turner, and Chetek High School senior Natalie Turner who was 17. A female called 911 Friday night asking for help, and the officers who responded later found the three bodies inside the home.


Police investigate suspicious Halloween candy

OCONOMOWOC — Oconomowoc police say a 3-year-old girl may have received a piece of tainted Halloween candy with a pill inside.

Nicholas Goeman told the Journal Sentinel's "Now" newspapers that his family took the girl trick or treating Saturday night when a woman approached them and dropped a Tootsie Roll in her budget. Goeman said the candy felt really sticky — and when he met a firefighter he knew, that person saw a pill inside.

Police said the firefighter confirmed seeing the pill but he might have dropped it someplace. Oconomowoc Police said there were no other tampering reports, and they're still investigating.


Wrong-way driver causes triple-fatal accident

DYCKESVILLE — The Brown County Sheriff's Department reports a 38-year-old Green Bay man drove the wrong way on an exit ramp Friday afternoon, causing a triple-fatal accident.

No names were released. The man entered the northbound lanes of Highway 57 going south, slamming into a northbound car carrying four members of the same family. Two women from Appleton died at the scene. They had been sitting in the back seat. A driver and front-seat passenger in that car were reported to be in critical condition at a hospital.


Veteran’s family settle with feds for $2.3M

MADISON — The family of a veteran who died while in the care of the Tomah VA Medical Center has settled a lawsuit against the federal government.

Marine Jason Simcakoski of Stevens Point died three years ago. Simcakoski's family will receive $2.3 million under the conditions of the agreement. About $1.6 million will be paid to Heather Simcakoski. An annuity worth almost 651-thousand dollars will be paid to her and Anaya Simcakoski. The family had filed a wrongful death lawsuit.


New clinic to address mental health issues

EAU CLAIRE — A new clinic is coming to Eau Claire that will address mental health issues.

The Human Services Department is planning to introduce their own mental health and substance abuse clinic for community members. The department says that an average of ten thousand people in Eau Claire deal with a mental health issue. The clinic is designed to fill an existing gap in care and reduce costs to patients.